The Gruffalo

Opened 6 July 2016, Closes 8 January 2017 (daytime performances) at the Lyric Theatre in London

"A Gruffalo? What is a Gruffalo?".... "A Gruffalo. Why don't you know? He has terrible tusks, and terrible claws, and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws."

Join Mouse on an adventurous journey through the deep, dark wood in search for hazlenuts in this magical, musical adaptation of the award winning picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

Upon meeting a singing and dancing fox, a mustachioed Mexican snake and various other potential predators, rather than being eaten by them, the Mouse scares them away with tall stories of an imaginary monster friend - but what happens when he comes face to face with the very creature he imagined?... The Gruffalo in London promises songs, laughs and scary fun for children aged three years and upwards and their adults! The perfect holiday treat!

The cast features Steve McCourt as 'The Gruffalo', Ellie Bell as 'The Mouse' and Charlie Guest. Tall Stories' production of The Gruffalo in London is based on the children's book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, adapted for the stage by Olivia Jacobs and Toby Mitchell with music and lyrics by Jon Fiber, Olivia Jacobs, Robin Price and Andy Shaw. It is directed by Olivia Jacobs with designs by Isla Shaw and lighting by James Whiteside. This production returns to London following eight West End seasons since 2005.

"Thankfully, children's theatre is not confined to the Christmas season, and this West End theatre is enterprisingly putting on performances of a revival of the Tall Stories theatre company's adaptation of the Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler picture book. Roundly aimed at children aged five or under, this offers an excellent introduction to theatrical conventions such as song and dance, mime and audience participation, while also encouraging them to listen and stay in their seats... The young ones I spoke to were entirely satisfied." The Sunday Times

"The Gruffalo, to those of you who don't know Julia Donaldson's tale word-perfectly, is a short, nicely rhyming story beloved of tenny-weenies, amusingly stretched with song and dance into an enchanting introduction to theatre... The moral of the story is that tiny creatures can get the better of their biggers, given guts and imagination. It's an important lesson vividly illustrated." The Mail on Sunday

"A funny and endearing adaptation by Tall Stories [who have] turned this simple, but clever tale into a 50-minute play with a mixture of catchy songs, slick choregraphy and good jokes... Of course, even 50 minutes can be too long in a dark theatre for some children - but The Gruffalo miraculously succeeds in finishing while they still want more." The Sunday Telegraph

"There is a pleasing symmetry to Julia Donaldson's award-winning tale. Basically two perilous journeys strung together by an imaginative twist, it tells of a cunning little mouse who sees off predators with a taste for small furry rodents by creating a fabulous beastie The Gruffalo. Bearing in mind the picture book takes no more than about five minutes to read it is no mean feat to turn it into a theatrical entertainment lasting an hour. But children's theatre specialist Tall Stories has managed to add some songs and dialogue and dance action to extend the piece without wrecking its essence... Donaldson's language is intact, from the 'scrambled snake' to 'Gruffalo crumble' and this undemanding but zesty show is just the ticket for children who think that a soft plush toy is a really cool present." The Daily Express

"A matinee production of this children's tale was not only a cool oasis, but also provided a happy hour of innocent storytelling. Three actors do all the work. Alice Parsloe, who has a lovely dimpled smile, plays the clever mouse. She manages to scare of a fox, owl and snake (all played by Thomas Warwick) be pretending that she knows an orange-eyed monster who will make their lives misery if they try to eat her... This is a sweet, inoffensive fable, to be enjoyed by most under-nines and their grown-ups." The Daily Mail

"[Tall Stories' The Gruffalo] began life at the Chester Gateway Theatre in 2001. A surprise hit, the production, which is aimed at children aged three-plus, has since toured internationally... The appeal of the show, directed by Olivia Jacobs, lies largely in its simplicity. Even in its new West End home, The Gruffalo is a pleasingly unvarnished piece of work. It eschews technical wizardry in favour of stripped-down storytelling, full of rhyming couplets that its young audience merrily choruses along with, and sunny songs by Jacobs, Jon Fiber, Andy Shaw and Robin Price. Isla Shaw's cardboard-cut-out tree-trunk set, lit in rainbow colours by James Whiteside, is an apt environment for the scampering of animals that are suggested by imaginative physical performances rather than by the actors' basic, earth-toned costumes..." The Times

Tall Stories' production of The Gruffalo in London was originally seen at the Criterion Theatre from 19 July 2005 to 21 August 2005, returned from 12 December 2006 to 7 January 2007 at the Arts Theatre, returned from 26 November 2008 to 11 January 2009 at the Duchess Theatre, returned from 25 November 2009 to 10 January 2010 at the Apollo Theatre, returned from 24 November 2010 to 16 January 2011 at the Garrick Theatre, returned 23 November 2011 to 15 January 2012, from 20 November 2013 to 12 January 2014, from 1 July 2015 to 6 September 2015 at the Lyric Theatre, from 15 December 2015 to 3 January 2016 at the Vaudeville Theatre.

The Gruffalo in London at the Lyric Theatre opened on 6 July 2016 and closed on 8 January 2017 - special daytime performances.